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Best Rose Reference Books

by Stephen Orr

Roses have a long and fascinating history. Learn more from these knowledgeable authors about rose breeding, and pick up their expert tips on how to grow the best plants.

"In Search of Lost Roses," Thomas Christopher
Thomas Christopher reveals the fascinating history of old roses and shares the story of a band of old rose fanatics who embark on a mission to rescue forgotten heirloom varieties.

"Antique Roses for the South"
In search of a resource for growing roses that thrive in hot climates? Expert Bill Welch has the information you need.

"Classic Roses," Peter Beales
British author Peter Beales is considered one of the world's top authorities on old roses (his nearly 40-year-old nursery grows 1,200 varieties). This gorgeous book -- for coffee table or garden shed -- is a download of all this wisdom.

"Encyclopedia of Roses," Charles and Brigid Quest-Ritson
A rose is a rose is a rose ... until you leaf through this encyclopedia and compare the crisp photographs of more than 2,000 varieties and cultivars. (It also explains the origins of some roses' unusual names.)

"The Old Rose Advisor, Volume II," Brent Dickerson
This offers an exhaustive survey of "old roses" -- the lush varieties grown before 1920. (Think "Downton Abbey"!)

"The Organic Rose Garden," Liz Druitt
Whether you're new to planting roses or a self-styled old pro, the author offers helpful advice and a fresh take on the chemical-free approach to raising these blooms.

"A Rose by Any Name: The Little-Known Lore and Deep-Rooted History of Rose Names," Douglas Brenner
What's a 'Knockout' and what's a 'Barbra Streisand'? This book looks at the history of rose breeding via the prism of the varieties' unique and fascinating names.

"A Year in the Life of a Rose: A Guide to Growing Roses from Coast to Coast," Rayford Clayton Reddell
The author is himself an owner of a large rose nursery in California, but he also shakes down more than a dozen peers in different growing zones and regions.

Looking for a specific rose variety for your garden? See our list of Mail-Order Roses.

Comments (1)

  • 15 Aug, 2013

    I have read a couple of these books, my wife likes flowers a lot and I borrowed a couple of books from her. I loved the writing style of Liz Druitt, she has a similar style like William Lauder Children, there are a lot of interesting facts and advices about roses, her chemical-free approach technique is unique.